Influence of the gibberellin-sensitive
Rht8 semidwarf gene on leaf anatomy and seedling vigour in wheat ( Triticum aestivum L.)
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Botwright, TL and Rebetzke, GJ and Condon, AG and Richards, RA, Influence of the gibberellin-sensitive
Rht8 semidwarf gene on leaf anatomy and seedling vigour in wheat ( Triticum aestivum L.), Annals of Botany, 95, (4) pp. 631-639. ISSN 0305-7364 (2005) [Refereed Article]
• Background and Aims: The gibberellin-insensitive Rht-B1b and Rht-D1b dwarfing genes are known to reduce the size of cells in culms, leaves and coleoptiles of wheat. Resulting leaf area development of gibberellin-insensitive wheats is poor compared to standard height (Rht-B1a and Rht-D1a) genotypes. Alternative dwarfing genes to Rht-B1b and Rht-D1b are available that reduce plant height, such as the gibberellin-responsive Rht8 gene. This study aims to investigate if Rht8 has a similar dwarfing effect on the size of leaf cells to reduce leaf area. • Methods: The effect of Rht8 on cell size and leaf area was assessed in four types of epidermal cells (interstomatal, long, sister and bulliform) measured on leaf 2 of standard height (rht8) and semi-dwarf (Rht8) doubled-haploid lines (DHLs). The DHLs were derived from a cross between very vigorous, standard height (rht8) ('Vigour18') and less vigorous, semi-dwarf (Rht8) ('Chuan-Mai 18′) parents. • Key Results: Large differences were observed in seedling vigour between the parents, where 'Vigour18' had a much greater plant leaf area than 'Chuan-Mai 18'. Accordingly, 'Vigour18' had on average longer, wider and more epidermal cells and cell files than 'Chuan-Mai 18'. Although there was correspondingly large genotypic variation among DHLs for these traits, the contrast between semi-dwarf Rht8 and tall rht8 DHLs revealed no difference in the size of leaf 2 or average cell characteristics. Hence, these traits were independent of plant height and therefore Rht8 in the DHLs. Correlations for leaf and average cell size across DHLs revealed a strong and positive relationship between leaf width and cell files, while the relationships between leaf and cell width, and leaf and cell length were not statistically different. The relative contribution of the four cell types (long, sister, interstomatal and bulliform) to leaf size in the parents, comparative controls and DHLs is discussed. • Conclusions: Despite a large range in early vigour among the DHLs, none of the DHLs attained the leaf area or epidermal cell size and numbers of the vigorous rht8 parent. Nonetheless, the potential exists to increase the early vigour of semi-dwarf wheats by using GA-sensitive dwarfing genes such as Rht8. © 2005 Annals of Botany Company.
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